SAYREVILLE – Nearly 100 staff members from Sayreville Middle School have participated in a music video intended to encourage students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The video was edited by Patsy Palma, the chorus and music appreciation teacher at the middle school, who uploaded it to YouTube on April 1. Featured in the video are various staff members from the middle school lip-syncing the Bruno Mars song “Count On Me” and providing messages to students, both through words and signs.
As a result of the pandemic, students in Sayreville have been unable to physically attend school and their education is being conducted at their homes through virtual instruction.
With the students forced to remain in their homes, Palma was contacted by Melissa Ciampa, a special education teacher at the middle school, to help support the students amid this period.
“One of Sayreville Middle School’s most hardworking teachers, Melissa Ciampa, had contacted me that something needed to be done to encourage all our students at home,” Palma said. “She knew that I would be the person to turn to as I had created a music video six years prior during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge craze. I told her we definitely could put something together as long as music was involved. I quickly thought of the song that would have the perfect message we wanted to send home to the students.”
Palma estimated that close to 100 staff members took part in the music video. The staff included teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, secretaries, PTO members, the school resource officer and Superintendent of Schools Richard Labbe.
“Each one sent a clip of themselves to me for the editing,” Palma said. “They could have lip-sung a lyric from the song, danced a popular online dance, held up a motivational sign or even given a spoken encouraging word.”
As of April 2, one day after its posting, the video had received 6,731 views.
“I have heard a lot of great feedback about the spirits of students getting lifted from this video,” Palma said. “This was our goal. In a time when we cannot see our students and be there for them as we would in our classroom, it was nice to know that they could see us in this video and know that we are still there for them. I could go on about all the beautiful things said by our staff in the video, but their words and signs speak for themselves.
“Everyone did such an amazing job and that is why the video is having the effect it’s been having,” he continued. “In a little over 24 hours, we have passed 6,000 hits on YouTube. This is something I will forever be proud of.
“Sayreville Middle School has always felt like one giant family. Working in this building is different than anywhere else. Everyone cares for each other and their students. This shows through various events that happen throughout the year. This is also another great example of how Sayreville can come together for its community,” Palma said.
To view the video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_NuWtf0hQA